Goin’ Bush: The Nursing Experience of Working in Remote Australia

Howard, Melissa-Lee Sheryl
Dewar, Jan
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Master of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

Personal experience of working as a remote nurse in Australia has brought an awareness that the uniqueness and complexity of this nursing brings challenges that are significantly different from those experienced by nurses in other clinical contexts. While there has been literature published around remote nursing mainly regarding violence, stress, education, and scope, little has been documented about the nature of nursing in the remote context and how nurses experience working in these environments. The purpose of this qualitative study was to take a holistic look and investigate a nurse’s experience of working in remote Australia. Case study research, which is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in depth within its real-world context was selected. The single case study design was undertaken using Yin’s guidelines for a descriptive study. An in-depth interview with a remote area nurse was held and thematic analysis undertaken utilising the framework by Braun & Clark (2006). The thematic analysis discovered themes within the data that together gave an overall picture of the phenomenon studied. Three themes were generated: adapting, constantly preparing, and wellbeing and safety. There are several groups or individuals that may benefit from the findings of this study such as new to remote area nurses, nurses aspiring to work in the remote context and those that employ remote nurses. Recommendations for practice and further research provided based on the findings of the study.

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